Last month, the overall costs of goods and services purchased by local governments did not increase, according to American City & County’s Municipal Cost Index. The June 2012 Municipal Cost Index value of 226.3 is 2 percent higher than last year.

Fuel prices continued to decrease, showing the greatest price decreases in the last month among the items tracked by American City & County. Natural gas was down 11.7 percent, and it is 48.3 percent lower than last year, which is the greatest annual decrease among items tracked by American City & County. Crude petroleum dropped 7.9 percent, and diesel fuel (No. 2) dropped 4.2 percent last month.

Minor price increases occurred for coal (1.4 percent), plywood (1.2 percent) and sand, gravel and crushed stone (1 percent). Since last year, gypsum products have increased 11.5 percent, and prepared paint has increased 9.3 percent.

The Municipal Cost Index, developed exclusively by American City & County, is designed to show the effects of inflation on the cost of providing municipal services. State and local government officials rely on American City & County's Municipal Cost Index to stay on top of price trends, help control price increases for commodities, make informed government contract decisions and intelligent budget planning. Since 1978, readers have loyally referred to the Municipal Cost Index to determine the cost of inflation and, hence, the rising cost of doing business as a local government.

American City & County’s Municipal Cost Index for June 2012 and a complete archive since 1978 is available now at americancityandcounty.com/municipal-cost-index.